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Accused kidnapper appears in federal court

Kristen Smith, charged with kidnapping her half sister’s newborn from Wisconsin, arrives for a hearing Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in Tipton, Iowa. At the hearing, Smith waived the right to challenge her extradition on a warrant from Texas charging her with tampering with government records. That means Texas authorities now have the ability to transport her to face that charge, but that isn’t expected to happen immediately as the judge ordered Smith to remain jailed in Tipton on $50,000 bond, citing the seriousness of the charges. (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)

Kristen Smith, charged with kidnapping her half sister’s newborn from Wisconsin, arrives for a hearing Feb. 14 in Tipton, Iowa. She made an appearance in federal court in Madison on Friday. (AP Photo/Ryan J. Foley)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A woman accused of kidnapping her newborn nephew and leaving him outside an Iowa gas station in frigid temperatures has made her first court appearance in Wisconsin.

A federal grand jury indicted 31-year-old Kristen Smith of Aurora, Colo., on a kidnapping charge earlier this week. Smith made her initial appearance in federal court in Madison on Friday. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Crocker ordered her detained while her family tries to hire an attorney.

Prosecutors allege Smith took the baby from a Town of Beloit home where her half-sister, who is the child’s mother, was staying on Feb. 6.

Police caught up with Smith in West Branch, Iowa, but she didn’t have the baby. Police later discovered the child alive in a crate behind a West Branch gas station.

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